Teaching Tip 356 | “Plain Speaking – Be Yourself” | Malcolm Cox

Here is your 2-minute tip based on the book, “Plain speaking: How to preach and teach effectively” by David Bercot.

Are you trying to sound like someone else when you speak? Please don’t. You have a personality for a reason. Be yourself. Reading the public teachings of Jesus and Paul, it is clear they spoke differently. If the book of James is a collection of sermons as many scholars think, they also ‘sound’ very different from Jesus. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel are different in style as well as content. Imagine if every preacher sounded exactly the same. Not only would we find it hard not to get bored, but something more profound would be lost – authenticity.

  1. Authenticity. Learning from other speakers is valuable, but attempting to be them is not. Your congregation knows you and wants to hear from you – not an AI version of yourself.
  2. Distractions. If your ‘natural’ style includes mumbling, shuffling or staring at the ceiling, it is crucial to work on improving your delivery. You can do this without losing the core of who you are.
  3. Nerves. Don’t over-focus on your style. Pay attention to any distracting habits, but avoid self-consciousness by remembering that your lesson is about God, he is with you, and the congregation are eager to learn.

What are your thoughts on being ourselves when we teach and preach? Someone said that preaching is ‘truth through personality’. Do you agree?

Next time, we will go on to explore how speaking conversationally.

Has today’s tip been worth two minutes of your time? I hope so.

Remember to keep calm and carry on teaching.

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Remember to keep calm, and carry on teaching.

God bless, Malcolm